The Knox College men’s soccer team hit their first road bump in a few weeks after falling 4-1 in a tough road contest to Grinnell on Saturday, Sept. 29. The loss brought an end to the Prairie Fire’s three game win streak and also ended Knox’s unbeaten streak at four.
Knox (5-4-1, 1-2-1 MWC) kept it close early, but it only took a 10 minute stretch midway through the first half for the Pioneers to take a stranglehold of the game. Between the 17th and 29th minutes, Grinnell scored three goals, giving the Prairie Fire their largest halftime deficit of the season.
The Pioneers would add another midway through the second half, and though Knox would tally one time late in the game, it came off a Grinnell own goal.
“It was definitely a reality check,” senior midfielder Michael Gasparro said. “We had an opportunity to [extend] the win streak, and with the loss, it kind of made us reevaluate where we were.”
Gasparro also mentioned that the team is well aware of what they need to get better.
“We got back to basics this week in practice, did more of what we are good at, what had us going well,” he said.
Knox could be set for a solid week as the team faces the bottom dwellers of the Midwest Conference. The Prairie Fire take on Illinois College* (5-5-2, 0-3-1 MWC) in a home match before hitting the road to take on Cornell (0-11, 0-5 MWC).
If the Prairie Fire do get back on track, it will only continue what has been one of the most stark turnarounds in recent memory. As the graphic shows, Knox notched just three wins in the previous two years combined, but already has five this season.
Knox has recorded the victories using a suffocating defensive style that has helped put the ball at the feet of the attacking forwards.
Freshman Charlie Harned and sophomore Jacob Polay each currently find themselves in the top five of the MWC individual scoring list, and the team is second in the conference in goals per game with 3.20.
*This event occurred past deadline. Check out The Knox Student website Thursday night for coverage of the game.